reply to post by Animal
The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland's Century, 1590-1710 By
Scholarly text on the origins of freemasonry in Scotland and England. Very good.
Secret Societies and Subversive Movements - Nesta H.
The above book by Webster is a very good overview of the conspiratorial view of the role of secret societies through history. She was inherently
pro-Anglo freemasonry, and anti-Continental, or Grand Orient freemasonry; she certainly did her research in the British Library sifting through
hundreds upon hundreds of primary and secondary source documents to build her case. Which is something to keep in mind, as she was quite fascistic in
her leanings and subscribed to the idea of the "Jewish Global Conspiracy." She was quite rabidly anti-Jew. But if you can filter all that out she
produces a very good outline of all the main societies with secrets throughout history.
Perfectibilists - The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the
Illuminati by Terry Melanson
Top notch reference work that was sorely needed on the Order of the Bavarian Illuminati. Essential on that subject.
It will dovetail with the following work superbly:
Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith - James H.
The above work treats the fact that revolutionary movements were so often fomented by clandestine, secretive groups, and you will see at times how
masonry was involved on the continent. In both Billington's work and Melanson's on the Bavarian Illuminati. The key word also is Jacobins
History of Freemasonry - Its Origins & Connections to the Knights Templar by Paul Naudon
Very good treatment of a more down-to-earth, plausible connection of the Templars to modern masonry, and a transmision of traditions through the Roman
Collegia, the Ismailis/Hashashin, the Knights Templar, the Culdees, and finally the more modern insitution of freemasonry. No Holy Grail malarkey.
Legacy in Montreal: The New Jerusalem by Francine Bernier
Very interesting scholarly speculations on the Templars, meticulously researched.
Qadosh: The Johannite Tradition by Jonathan Sellers
Very much off the beaten track text that covers just about every known secret society and movement in history, vis-a-vis some of the more populist
accounts. The guy seems to have read just about every esoteric, historical, and populist book on societies wihth secrets available! You may not agree
with his conclusions, but lots and lots of raw data there. The online text version below is a more comprehensive account (it's one hell of a read!),
but slightly out of date. The book above has suitable corrections, is better sourced and referenced, and has additions to the information the online
version doesn't have:
Antiqillum.org - Qadosh: The Johannite Tradition
The Rosicrucian Enlightenment - Frances Yates
The inestimable historian Dame Frances Yates on the phenomenon that became known as the Rosicrucians, who came into a somewhat mythical existence
after those mysterious documents known as the "Rosicrucian manifestos" apeared on the scene. Look into every other book she published as well is the
advice I've been given.
The Mythology of the
Secret Societies by J.M. Roberts
A serious treatment of the way secret societies have been viewed through history, especially the way they have been seen as revolutionary,
Stellar Theology and Masonic Astronomy by Robert Hewitt Brown, 32°
Deals with the symbolism of freemasonry.
Also, a truly superb book, maybe my favourite of all of the above is:
The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical
Anarchists of the Middle Ages - Norman Cohn
The above book counts as it deals with clandestine, revolutionary esoteric movements that may well have been started and/or helped along by the more
well known esoteric orders. Brilliant work of historical, sociological, and pyschological analysis.
Plus there are the other usual suspect texts to read on the subject. Morals and Dogma, Anacalypsis (so I'm told), the works of R. Swinburne Clymer
(read one, very interesting), etc, etc. The journey is long and far, but eventful.
[edit on 13/12/09 by Extant Taxon]